Wrapped packages with bows. Holiday Gift Guide for People in Addiction Recovery

Holiday Gift Guide for People in Addiction Recovery

Fact Checked and Peer Reviewed

Buying holiday gifts for loved ones isn’t always easy, especially when you’re buying for sober folks. Have you noticed how many online gift lists include alcohol or accessories like flasks, glasses, and bottle-openers? So if you find yourself questioning what to get for someone who doesn’t drink or use anymore, you’re not alone. Maybe you knocked it out of the park in their first year by buying them a swanky new coffee set, but this year you’re lost for ideas.

Don’t worry—the Workit team has you covered! We’ve curated a list of thoughtful gift ideas for loved ones in recovery from alcohol or substance use disorder.

Donate-to-a-cause gifts

What’s better than giving a beautiful gift and also contributing toward helping others? Here are a couple of ideas to support recovery organizations:

  • Beaded Wellbriety jewelry isn’t just a lovely, unique piece of jewelry. It is made by hand, and the proceeds from every purchase go to the Women in Prisons Program. Note that jewelry and clothing orders from this shop are considered special orders and take time to fill, so order ASAP if you want them for this holiday season!
  • Donate to:

Esteem-building gifts

Affirmation decks are a helpful way to build esteem, build confidence, and channel inner strength. These affirmations are inspiring (and sometimes pretty sassy) without being cheesy or cloying, and they stay away from overt religion, so they’re very inclusive. Bonus: several of them have beautiful designs! These decks would be a great gift for anyone trying to be more mindful and positive in their recovery:

Activist gifts

Many folks in recovery believe that everyone deserves opportunities to recover. Many of us find ourselves involved in recovery activism and advocacy roles. Whether that’s supporting advocacy organizations like Faces & Voices of Recovery, taking part in I Am Not Anonymous, or wearing your activism. Here are a few visual ideas to gift to the activist in recovery:

Mindfulness gifts

A great skill—some might say a very necessary skill for folks in recovery—is one of mindfulness. You can turn that racing brain into a center of quiet, even during turmoil. Here are some popular mindfulness gifts for loved ones in recovery.

  • Books: If addiction is about escaping our thoughts, meditation is about turning to face them. Jon Kabat-Zinn’s classic “Wherever You Go, There You Are,” is a clear and practical introduction to the ways meditation can change how we respond to the world around us.
  • Journal: Another great gift is tools to journal, like a nice notebook, or a 5 Minute Gratitude Journal, or Daily Gratitude book.
  • Fidget gifts: Many folks in recovery have extra energy and may feel unformattable in meetings. Rather than picking up your phone, a fidget tool could be helpful. Fidget tools and stim toys can also be helpful for focusing and mood regulation for folks with co-occurring disorders, like autism or ADHD. It can be hard to find fidget toys that are discreet and easy to carry, but these toys are small and convenient, and look cool to boot!

Bookworm gifts

Many folks in recovery love to read Quit Lit or inspiring stories of people who have overcome challenges. Here is a list of inspirational books that folks in recovery LOVE:

Curated crafts

Laura Silverman of The Sober Curator has listed a whole host of crafting ideas on her website, including:

Head to Laura’s website to find a whole host of other curated ideas.

Decorative gifts

Visual recovery-related gifts can serve as a helpful reminder and motivation of why we’re in recovery. When we’re having a tough day, it can be especially inspiring to see encouragement to push through our challenges.

Apparel & accessories gifts

So many people fear that they’ll have to be boring and serious if they stop drinking or using. Goofy t-shirts, hoodies, and hats like these defy those stereotypes and help us celebrate recovery without being too serious.

Sober drink gift ideas

Believe it or not, folks in recovery can still indulge in fancy drinks without risking their recovery. The alcohol-free market is huge right now. Here’s a selection of our favorite alcohol-free drinks and zero-proof mixers.

A thoughtful and creative gift guide for people in addiction recovery.

Where to now?

Start your recovery today. Download our app or sign up for a free 5-week course.

A young Man on a couch with a dog using his phone for addiction recovery

Where to now?

Start your recovery today. Download our app or sign up for a free 5-week course.

Olivia Pennelle is a writer, journalist, and recovery activist. Her work has appeared in STAT News, Insider, Filter Magazine, Ravishly, The Temper, and Shondaland. She is the founder of popular site Liv’s Recovery Kitchen. She lives near Portland, Oregon. Follow her on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter

Kickstart your quit

Sign up to receive 30 days of free daily text inspiration for your recovery. Tips, tricks, hacks, and more!